Skip to main content

Appeals court upholds Berlusconi tax evasion sentence

By Hada Messia, CNN
May 9, 2013 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sentence for tax evasion has been upheld.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sentence for tax evasion has been upheld.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Berlusconi can appeal a second time to a higher court
  • The former prime minister was convicted in October
  • He and others were accused of avoiding taxes on film purchases

Rome (CNN) -- An Italian appeals court in Milan upheld Wednesday a four-year prison sentence for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi, 76, received the sentenced last October when he was convicted for tax evasion. He was also barred from public office for five years.

Under Italian law, he can also appeal Wednesday's ruling to a higher court.

Berlusconi -- who served on and off as prime minister between 1994 and 2011 -- is arguably one of the most colorful and controversial figures in the lively history of Italian politics. For years, he has been entangled in fraud, corruption and sex scandals that have often reached Italian courts.

But the tax evasion case was the first one that resulted in a conviction.

His trial, which also involved executives from Berlusconi's Mediaset television group and the head of a Swiss bank, concerned the purchase of TV rights for films that were then resold within the group at inflated prices.

Prosecutors said the scheme, involving about 3,000 American films, allowed those involved to avoid a major tax bill.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT